Rogue One has hit hyperspace and is coming for us at light-speed! Over the past few days, we have been bombarded with new insights into the upcoming Star Wars anthology installment, and it’s been nothing short of a turbulent ride. I’d say strap in, but that’d be like attempting to fasten the Kuiper belt around your waist – impossible.
EW recently released the first official character head-shots of the Rogue One cast and the excitement is real! Given exclusive access, EW has spilled every last beans on each character’s backstory, relevance, and purpose in this newest Star Wars story. Luckily for you, we’ve done our own research and compiled brief overview. Take my hand young Padawans; I’ll show you.
1. Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones)
Rogue One‘s protagonist is Jyn Erso, whom we have seen before in the first trailer released a few months ago. Having roamed the streets alone since she was 15, she’s a highly adept fighter and has invaluable knowledge of and connections with the galactic underworld. Therefore, the Rebel Alliance source and recruit her, for she possesses all of which they desperately need – she is the key to infiltrating the Galactic Empire. According to Lucasfilm president and Rogue One producer Kathleen Kennedy:
“She’s got a checkered past. She has been detained [by the Rebellion] and is being given an opportunity to be useful. And by being useful, it may commute her sentence… She’s a real survivor. She becomes a kind of Joan of Arc in the story.”
2. Captain Cassian Andor (Diego Luna)
Given how unpredictable Erso turns out to be, an intelligence officer is brought in to counterbalance her impulsive behavior. Andor is very much a Rebel who ironically plays by the rules, but he is by no means soft. As this Rebellion is his day-to-day job, he is simply more aware of the dangers and consequences that may come erratic decisions in heated moments. Andor’s role is, basically, to keep the volatile Erso on a tight leash. He’s a diligent character, logical and calm, and is no stranger to combat. Kiri Hart, Lucasfilm’s chief of story development told EW:
“He conveys a fair amount of experience and the reality of what it’s like to do this every day, to try to figure out how to resist the Empire effectively and intelligently. It’s not easy.”
3. Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen)
Chirrut may not be a Jedi, but he does strongly believe in the Force and the Jedi lifestyle – deeply bathed in spirituality. He carries himself like a Jedi, and so in many ways has become one with practice. By thinking so steadily, his psychological recovery from blindness was made easier; he smoothly transitioned him from a regular man into a formidable warrior. Kennedy, once again, offers EW more direct insight:
“Chirrut falls into the category of being a warrior monk. He very much still believes in everything the Jedi were about.”
As we all know, at the end of Episode III, the few remaining Jedi banished themselves to exile. After Anakin Skywalker shamefully betrayed The Jedi Order and embraced the Dark Side, the dwindling Jedi population was forced to surrender, for they were outnumbered by the Empire and overpowered by the Sith. Rogue One takes place between Episode III and Episode IV, therefore, Chirrut’s faith in the force and the Jedi way is remarkable, given their complete abandonment of the Galaxy. However, Chirrut’s faith leans more towards humanity and the need for the ordinary to acquaint themselves with the Jedi mind. As director Gareth Edwards puts it:
“This idea that magical beings are going to come and save us is going away, and it’s up to normal, everyday people to take a stand to stop evil from dominating the world.”
4. Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen)
With an early Han Solo mentality, Baze kind of thinks the Jedi is bogus. He places more trust in heavy armor and the standard blaster gun than ancient lightsabers and magical (mythical) powers. He prefers charging in with brute force rather than engaging THE Force to become one with stealth. Nonetheless, he is very good friends with Chirrut and is deathly protective of him. Kennedy explains it best:
“He understands Chirrut’s spiritual centeredness, but he doesn’t necessarily support it,” Baze goes along with this Force business because “it’s what his friend deeply believes,” she adds.
5. Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed)
As the Rebel crew’s lead pilot, Bohdi can appear aloof and short-tempered. Nonetheless, this fast reaction time and his snap-judgements are imperative to the team’s plans. For, in the air and up in space no one can match his level of intuitive flying. He’s generally accepted as he is for this reason.
“He flies a lot of cargo, one of his key jobs,” Kennedy says. “And he tends to be a little tense, a little volatile, but everybody in the group really relies on his technical skills.”
6. K-2SO (Alan Tudyk)
Director Edwards has described this security droid as “the antithesis of C-3PO.” He is large and strong, tough and resilient, and uninterested in “human/cyborg relations”.
“Kaytoo is a little bit like Chewbacca’s personality in a droid’s body,” Edwards says. “He doesn’t give a s— about what you think. He doesn’t fully check himself before he says things and does things. He just speaks the truth.” Like Jyn, he’s seeking revenge for some past wrong-doings.
7. Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen)
This is Jyn’s estranged father and he is highly sought after by both the Empire and the Rebellion, for he knows things that no one else does about the fate of the galaxy.
“He’s one of those people that has insight into you know specific aspects of just how the universe works,” says Hart.
The reason behind the Jyn and Galen’s separation for so many years won’t be revealed until the film is out.(Lucasfilm, also, isn’t revealing his image yet, so this is just a file picture.)
8. Director Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn)
Although it has been confirmed that Vader will be making an appearance in Rogue One, the main villain in this movie is Director Orsen Krennic. There’s competition within the Empire to move up the ranks and Krennic is no ally of Vader, though Vader is his enforcer. He plans to take out the Rebel army and gain the Emperor’s approval and escape life in Darth Vader’s shadow.
“The bad guy is a lot more terrifying when he’s really smart, and really effective,” says Knoll. “There is a lot of palace intrigue going on in the Empire, with people conspiring to move up the ranks and sabotaging each other. There’s not a lot of loyalty there.”
9. Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker)
This is a Rogue One character that has been creating a lot of buzz! Super fans of all thing Star Wars will be familiar with him immediately. The abundance of backstory this character will bring to the anthology series is so vast that we will have to elaborate in a separate post. In a nutshell, he was deeply involved in The Clone Wars, and he will bring an extremist’s view to the Rebellion.
Rogue One will be in cinemas 16 December, 2016. Let us know in the comments how you feel about the new characters Rogue One will introduce. I personally think they seem like some of the most fleshed out characters Star Wars has ever offered us; they all seem to be teeming with original backstory. Each individual appears to be going into the rebellion for different reasons, but with the same intentions: to take back the galaxy from the Empire’s chokehold. Only time will tell, but I have a really great feeling about this movie! I think the level of creative freedom the anthology has had so far will really show in the writing and delivery of the story. I think Rogue One will be less try-hard than Force Awakens was at times; there’s always less pressure on a spin-off.
Feature Image Source: Youtube.com (Shmoesknows)